The Naval Academy received a piece of history Jan. 21 when Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter accepted an original game poster from the 1983 Army-Navy Game from retired Army Col. Rolfe Arnhym.
The 1983 Army-Navy Game was played in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
It was the first and only time the game was played west of the Mississippi River. All 9,000 Cadets and Midshipmen were in attendance.
“I wanted to give the Academy some memorabilia that was given to me after the Army-Navy game in 1983,” said Arnhym, who served as the EVP/CEO of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the Army Navy Foundation in 1983. “A gift to help make a footprint at the academy.”
The moving of the Army-Navy Game from the East Coast to West Coast was no easy task and took a lot of determination, dedication, and solid leadership skills from both academies.
“We had to move all the midshipmen from Annapolis and the Corps of Cadets from West Point to California. It is characterized as one of the largest movements in peacetime history,” said Arnhym. “We had to house them, feed them and be able to conduct a football game, and make sure all the traditional events that go with the game happened.”
What helped pull off the event were the nearly 4,000 host families that took in the midshipmen and cadets.
“I felt overwhelmed with the welcome and enthusiasm on the part of the people in the Los Angeles area and in Pasadena in particular,” said Arnhym. “The fact that close to a million people showed up to watch the Corps of Cadets and the Brigade of Midshipman march from the downtown to the Rose Bowl with very little notice - and those who helped house them while they were here - speaks volumes.”
Arnhym believed that moving the game would increase visibility of the two service academies on the West Coast.
“I felt that the admissions from states like California, Arizona, Texas and those on the west coast had a decrease in interest in the service academies due to lack of visibility, and I wanted to help,” said Arnhym.
The game ended that day in 42-13 win for the midshipmen. It was a great opportunity for people on the West Coast to see, in person, all the rich history and tradition that goes along with football’s greatest rivalry.